Four Cash Flow Bedtime Stories to Help You Sleep Better at Night

Small Business
a woman is asleep in a bed and is dreaming of a heart with a cash flow line across it

Cash flow problems keep many business owners up at night. That's why we wrote these little bedtime stories to help you rest easy.

The Princess Meets Her Prince, Sir Line-O-Credit

After establishing a track record of success and profit, many businesses work with a bank to secure a line of credit. Businesses may want a line of credit in case they find themselves waiting on a big check, but they may also take advantage of it if there's an opportunity that's too good to pass up, such as acquiring a competitor or investing in a new technology that will grow their business.

Here's the thing, though: banks want to give you money when you don't need it, so be sure to get your line of credit when things are going well. A month's worth of expenses is a good amount to shoot for.

The Frog Gets Kissed By Online Payments

Sometimes, your cash flow can be quickened by simply allowing your customers to pay you online. Many invoicing platforms have online payments built in. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Harvest
    This is what our parent company, Simple Focus, is currently using to track time and send invoices. It's super easy to use.
  • Freshbooks
    This is what Simple Focus used to use. It's great for small, growing businesses who want to look professional and streamline invoicing.
  • Quickbooks Online
    Yuck, right? As an industry giant, we have to include them, and they did just redesign their online product (it's actually not that bad).
  • Less Accounting
    We're friends with these guys and Simple Focus designed their logo. They have super friendly customer service and a recently redesigned product.

There are other great options out there, too. These are just the ones we've used.

The Knight In Shining Armor Gets Paid In Advance

Another way to improve cash flow is by reducing your receivables. Regardless of what you've been told, it's entirely possible to negotiate for upfront payments in the service industry. On larger projects, you can still break payments into milestones, but put them in front of the work rather than behind it.

And yes, big companies are willing to negotiate their payments terms, even with small businesses. You won't get it if you don't ask for it.

The Emperor Uncovers His Hidden Expenses

Sometimes, we all just accept that wasted expenses are a part of business. But, we don't have to accept that. One of the most obvious ways to improve your cash flow position is to look for places where you business is spending unnecessary money and simply stop spending that money.

One quick method is to go down your credit card and bank statements and look for recurring fees for things you don't use any more. In addition to this super simple method, there are also some great tools for automatically analyzing your expenses. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Mint
    Mint ties in to your bank accounts and visualizes everything very nicely and shows you where you spend your money based on categories.
  • Personal Capital
    This company lets you connect your bank and investment accounts as well, but they also have financial advisors who are relentless about trying to help you out. They're interested in helping you with your entire portfolio, so if you're looking to do a little financial planning in addition to managing your cash flow, check them out.

Sweet Dreams, Fellow Business Owners...

At Pulse, we're running a business, too, so we know how tough it can be to make payroll, pay vendors and keep up with taxes, not to mention investing in capabilities, company culture and employee retention. These simple tips are meant to help give you the extra control over your cash flow so you can relax and stay in control. Sleep well tonight, you have a lot of work to do tomorrow!